Every year, hundreds of thousands of students graduate from university and seek to enter the working world. With various levels of experience, and a willingness to learn, it can often feel as though business owners and employers have the pick of the lot. However fruitful the number of job seekers may be, it is now the case that businesses are competing with each other to hire and retain capable employees. With large companies having more prestige, and a larger budget to entice these millennials, it can often be the case that small business owners have a lower staff retention rate, as people seek to progress in their careers (and larger companies poach them).
There are two aspects to staff retention; firstly, as a small business owner, you want to employ young professionals who are interested in the job role, rather than the salary, and who want to develop within their career. And secondly, you need to find ways to retain the capable professionals you have already employed. Millennials have a fast-paced way of life, and their professional careers often meander to these characteristics and ideas - in other words, if there is a better opportunity, quicker progression or if they like the look of another company better, then they will not hesitate to jump ship. If you’re interested in attracting and retaining millennials, here are some simple steps to follow...
Get the basics right
Whilst enticing your employees with an exciting office environment, it’s important to first get the basics right. Any employee, young or old, likes to know that they are being taken care of, so pension schemes, health care and bonus schemes are top priority. It’s important to draw up a contract that is both fair to yourself, as the employer, and most importantly, fair to your employees. The contract should include essential things such as comprehensive sick pay, bonus structures and salary increments, as well as maternity and paternity leave. This can help to attract professionals who are seeking long-term employment and who want to make your business better.
Unconventional office etiquette
Keeping the office environment fresh and fun can really help to boost motivation levels, and can help to attract new employees. One of the most unconventional but progressive office environments are those that are pet friendly. This may sound like a fool's errand to engage in, but in fact, studies have proven that pet-friendly offices promote a healthy working environment for all ages. Allowing an employee to bring their dog into the office, for example, can really set your small business aside from any of the larger businesses or corporations and can again, help to attract fun loving and driven employees. Every time you make allowances and strive for a more progressive office environment, you will see the benefits.
Job satisfaction is a fickle friend, and you will find that your employees will begin to seek other options if you do not provide them with a path to progression. Being truly happy in your career often means that you are able to progress and move up. Offering a good career development plan or structure can boost motivation and productivity levels in your office and can be positive for both your business and for your employees.
Flexibility is key
Offering a flexible work schedule is often something that is associated with parents, but these working practices can help professionals of all ages to be more in control of their working and to encourage them to seek career progression within your business. This will show your employees that you have an invested interest in their personal lives and that you are thinking of their long-term career prospects - when first starting with your business, you may find that your employees aren’t even considering starting a family, but over time this may change, so it’s nice to know that they can build their work schedule to suit their change in lifestyle.
These are simple yet extremely progressive techniques that could help you to run a better and more successful business, they also show that you are an understanding employer - which could certainly help to both retain and attract new members of staff to your small business.
Alexa Jones is a law graduate, and an avid business writer who works closely with a probate solicitors in Manchester to raise awareness on how to protect your small business in the event of any employment disputes, or in the event of a death or divorce.